KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A 35-year-old man is now charged in the January 1 car crash that caused severe injuries to his female passenger. Jackson County prosecutors charged Jestin Waterhouse with leaving the scene of an accident and assault.
Police say it was around 2:45 a.m. New Year's Day when Waterhouse, driving a white Chevrolet Monte Carlo, jumped the sidewalk on Independence Avenue. Surveillance video shows the car hit a stop sign and clip a telephone pole before slamming into a brick wall of a dentist's office.
Family members of Jessica Grant, 25, said she was the passenger in the car. They say she suffered severe neck and skull injuries and a broken leg. Prosecutors believe that instead of tending to her, Waterhouse hopped out of the vehicle and fled arrest, citing witness statements.
Investigators identified Waterhouse as the driver by cross-referencing witnesses' descriptions, a library card left behind in the Monte Carlo with his name on it and a subsequent search of Missouri Department of Revenue records, which contained his photo.
“What he did is deplorable by any standard of being a man, truly you don’t just leave a fellow human being, let a woman trapped in a car for two hours,” Dave Grant, Grant’s uncle, told FOX 4 the day after the crash.
Grant’s family said almost two hours went by before somebody noticed the car and called 911.
Grant said his niece was ringing in the New Year at The Power and Light District with friends and he isn’t sure why she took a ride with the man seen in surveillance. He said the man is an acquaintance of his niece. He told FOX 4 the victim is a hard-working mother of two young children and just earned her nursing degree.
Grant was to have surgery on Sunday and remained in recovery from her injuries. She was unable to give police a statement because she is still in critical condition according to court documents.
A GoFundMe.com account has been set up for Grant. Click here for more information.
Waterhouse's bond is set at $250,000, but he's not listed in custody yet. FOX 4 will update with news of his arrest when it's confirmed.